La collera delle lumache / The snails’ wrath
This year, on July 21st, 22nd and 23rd, several international artists/performers will convene in the Upper Pellice Valley (Alta Val Pellice), a little over an hour away from Turin, to undertake an innovative project. Each one of them will venture into an area in the vicinity of the Conca del Prà (a vast plateau situated at 1750 metres above sea level) with a reasonably adventurous approach: they will try to lose their way in order to find something – objects, people, places, and any surprising or fascinating event – and get the audience to participate in their adventure.
“La collera delle lumache / The snails’ wrath” [from a verse by French poet Francis Ponge, La colère des escargots] intends to suggest an approach to exploring the mountainous landscape which sets itself apart from the well-trodden path informed by physical performance (if not all-out athletic effort) and defined by a steady pace, speed and meticulously programmed routes and travelling times. Our project would like to promote the slower, more irregular approach of the wayfarer/dreamer, who embarks on a journey with no particular destination in mind – or maybe with a destination they are willing to change as they go – ever observant of what they witness along the way, not only looking straight in front of them and upwards (towards the mountaintop, or the hills), but also around, or towards the valley they just left behind when first venturing down the path at the beginning of their journey. They are always prepared to seize any momentous, sudden or unexpected event which they may encounter, and therefore often stop to observe, listen, smell, think. There are many eminent examples of this particular approach to hiking (in the mountains and elsewhere), each of them at once different from the other, but also sharing the same spiritual outlook: the Swiss writer Robert Walser (“The stroll / Der Spaziergang”) - a tireless, dreaming rambler, whose eyes, ears and heart are constantly wide open and alert; German author Joseph von Eichendorf - famous for his “Memoirs of a Good-For-Nothing” - ever ready to sense “the world’s melody” (cit. Cesare Cases); the Italian Gianni Celati (of “Verso la foce / To the river mouth” fame) who gets farther away from his destination as he travels, losing his way as he is drawn by things and people he unexpectedly happens upon; the great German painter Caspar David Friedrich, who used to set off early in the morning towards the Riesengebirge [the Giant Mountains] with everything he needed to draw the places he would discover along his way, captured in instants of awe and mystery (as depicted by his friend Kersting’s beautiful drawing, which portrays him – in a rapid, almost furtive manner – just as he is heading off towards the Riesengebirge); and, lastly, the English visual artist Hamish Fulton, another great rambler always watchful for unanticipated and remarkable events, his eyes and ears in keen expectation.
The project, which we have been working on for a year, has been received with great interest among many institutions in the Pellice Valley (home to the proud Waldensian people, and rich in natural beauty, history and folklore); these institutions have agreed to participate in our venture and will support e/static in the organization of the three days of “The snails’ wrath”. They are: the Comune di Bobbio Pellice (the Municipality of Bobbio Pellice), the Cai-Uget della Val Pellice (the Italian Alpine Club – Turin Young Hikers Union of the Pellice Valley), Sanpaolo Invest, Superbudda Creative Collective and especially the Rifugio Alpino “Willy Jervis” (“Willy Jervis” Mountain Refuge) at the Conca del Prà, where the project will draw to an end, with a number of performances on the last day (free of admission and open to all, both the guests of the Refuge and passers-by).
The artists/performers will be: Pierre Berthet, Rie Nakajima, Miki Yui, Viv Corringham, Giovanni Morbin, Alessandro Quaranta and Rolf Julius (who will be present 'in absentia').